|Wind Surf - Lisbon to Barcelona - April 2009
Apr 19th After a leisure morning at the Eurostars Das Letras hotel we took a taxi to the port
and boarded the Wind Surf. We recognized at least half the staff from previous
cruises. Unpacked and prepared for our day at sea tomorrow. The food service was excellent. Wind Star
cruises has an open seating policy and we decided to dine quietly with just the two of us.
Apr 20th Enjoyed a day at sea. A bit cool but sunny. We took it easy and caught up on reading.
Apr 21st Docked in Tangier this morning. We decided to skip the tours and stay on board. We were
in Morocco in 2001 for several weeks, and both the cruise hostess and ship's captain
recommended not venturing forth without a guide. It turned out the ship docked about two miles from the
city center, so we just decided to spend a leisurely day on board. Most of the other guests took a four hour
tour, so we had the ship pretty much to ourselves. Weather has warmed up and we made use of the hot tub
on the ships stern. Enjoyed watching the harbor activity with many fishing boats of all sizes moving about,
During dinner we sailed through the Straights of Gibraltar and could see Gibraltar at a distance as it was
Apr 22nd We docked in Malaga, Spain early this morning and enjoyed walking through the city
for several hours. This was our first time setting foot in Spain, and our initial
impression was very favorable. The city is set against a backdrop of mountains and is the home of Pablo
Picasso. The last time we went through a Picasso museum was in Paris several years ago and I had Eleanor
promise me that she would remind me of that visit the next time I suggested going through a Picasso
museum! The city is very clean and has many pedestrian only streets in the downtown area. Most of the
passengers took an eight hour trip to Alhambra in Granada which we passed on, We plan to visit Granada
later in the month after our cruise ends, so once again the ship was pretty much deserted for most of the
day. We were invited, with two other couples, to the Captain's Table for dinner. This turned out to be an
interesting evening with lots of good discussion.
Apr 23rd Today our port was Alicante, another beautiful city which we enjoyed walking through. We
will be returning near here in a week or so when we stay at the Marriott in Denia. Our
morning was at sea and we arrived in Alicante at about 2:00 PM. A palm lined promenade along the
waterfront was especially nice. Once again the city sat against a backdrop of mountains with a castle sitting
high above the city.
Apr 24th We docked in Palma on the Island of Mallorca (aka Majorca) at noon and took a tour to
the small village of Valldemossa. The port city of Palma was much larger than we
anticipated, with a population upwards of 400,000. It is truly a boater's destination with sailboats moored as
far as the eye could see. We drove past countless fields of almond trees before climbing through the
mountains to Valldemossa which was a very picturesque village dominated by a church and old monastery.
Chopin stayed at the monastery for about three months, so one of the highlights of the tour was a museum
devoted to his time in Valldemossa, as well as a 15 minute piano performance of his music.
Apr 25th This is our last full day of the cruise and our port is Tarragona, about 60 miles from
Barcelona where our cruise will end tomorrow morning. This was probably the least scenic
of the ports we docked at. Primarily coal barges, etc. A shuttle bus took us to the city which is interesting
because of its Roman ruins. The weather has turned cooler (low 60's) and windy and the outlook is for the
same over the next few days. Now it is time to back our bags and get ready to depart the Wind Surf
tomorrow morning. We will transfer to the Le Meridien and spend the next four nights in Barcelona before
departing for the south of Spain on April 30th.
Apr 26th Our arrival in Barcelona went smoothly. The ship terminal was new and modern and
transferring to a taxi was a snap. All in all this was an excellent week. The food on board the Wind Surf was
outstanding. It was difficult to make a choice from the excellent dinner menu each evening. This was our
eighth cruise with Wind Star and we have pretty well exhausted the itineraries we find of interest. We have
decided to try a trip on one of the Seabourn cruises in September when we will be in Italy.